This time of year in ministry is always busy and overwhelming and challenging. All of the programs I run are beginning, I’m organizing all of my teams, and preparing all of the supplies that we need. Last year around this time, I wrote about being afraid of not having done enough – I was concerned about my weaknesses effecting my ministries.
This year I’ve been feeling similarly, but it has also looked a little different, as I know I’ve grown in the past year. The last few weeks, I’ve been feeling pretty discouraged and out of place. I started at a new parish this past July and so I’m still adjusting in a lot of ways to a new workplace. However, ministry is not new to me. I’m starting my 6th year working in some type of ministry. But no matter how much experience I have, I still feel inadequate at this time of year.
I’ve been reflecting a lot on why these feelings resurface every year at the beginning of programming. I think that a huge part of the why is because our ministries are a huge threat to the devil and his plans. What I am doing is very important to growing the Kingdom of God and the evil one does not want it to be successful. So he comes at me with as many attacks as he can, especially hitting at my weak points. I’ve come to recognize that one of my weakest points is accepting my identity in Christ, knowing that I am worthy, loved, seen, known, and qualified to do my job because of the Lord working in and through me.
As I’ve been praying and reflecting, I’ve been focusing a lot on letting the Lord remind me who I am in His eyes. He has been reminding me that I am loved and that He created me just as I am for a purpose, even with my weaknesses. I think it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking everything needs to be perfect and I need to have everything figured out in order for my ministry to be fruitful. But I think that the Lord uses our weaknesses more than anything else to bring His ministry about.
If I thought I had everything figured out on my own, I would cease to rely on the Lord. I would rely solely on my own strength and in the end I would fail to do what the Lord has asked because I would be making my ministry about me instead of Him. By being aware of my weaknesses and admitting that I don’t have it all together, I know that I have to rely on the Lord. It is only through my weaknesses that the Lord is able to bring about exactly what He desires for me and for those I minister to and with.
What a gift to realize I don’t have to have everything figured out. The Lord can use me in my littleness to bring about great victories for His kingdom, if I just continue to rely on Him. That means waking up every day and making time to be with Him in prayer and not just for a set amount of time in the morning, but continuing to go to Him throughout the day so that He can fill in the gaps between what I am able to do and what He is able to do through me.
While these realizations don’t fully take away the doubt and struggle, they do help remind me to run to the Lord as often as I can and encourage me to keep moving forward regardless of my doubt. My plan this year is to continue to embrace my littleness and rest on the heart of the Father, trusting that He will take care of it all.